Andrea DeRenzis Strauss, Conductor of Tara Winds, has taught elementary, middle school, high school, college, and adult community bands, and has taught at both public and private schools in Georgia. A native of Clarence, New York, Dr. Strauss earned both the Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music Education from the University of South Carolina and attained a Ph.D. in Music Education with a minor in Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, Dr. Strauss completed the Educational Leadership Certificate Program at Kennesaw State University.
Dr. Strauss served as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Shorter University where she made significant contributions to the development of the instrumental music education degree program. At Shorter, Dr. Strauss taught conducting, various instrumental music education methods and pedagogy courses, and directed the marching band, wind ensemble, and chamber orchestra.
As former Director of Bands at the Georgia Institute of Technology, ensembles under her leadership performed in Australia, Ireland, and China for such events as the Shanghai International Arts Festival. While serving Georgia Tech for sixteen years, the Symphonic Band commissioned numerous works and performed for Southern Division College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association Conferences, and Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conferences. In addition to sustaining a teaching career at Georgia Tech, Dr. Strauss served as Associate Director of the 1992-1996 Atlanta Olympic Band.
Dr. Strauss retired in 2013 from the Cobb County School District. She is an active clinician and adjudicator, and has conducted All-State Bands in California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Dakota, and South Carolina. She has conducted in Italy, adjudicated in Canada, and presented clinics on various aspects of teaching and conducting for the Eastern and Northwestern Division NAfME In-Service Conferences, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and numerous GMEA In-Service Conferences and university symposiums.
Dr. Strauss has had articles published in the Music Educators Journal and the National Band Association's Journal. As a member of the National Band Association's Board of Directors, she has served as the Music Education Research Chair, Mentor Director, and State Chair. In addition, she has served as a National Representative for Tau Beta Sigma, State Chair for the CBDNA, Board of Directors Representative for the Georgia Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, and Ninth District Officer for GMEA.
Dr. John N. Culvahouse, is Professor of Music Education, retired, at Kennesaw State Universitty. From 1991 until 2007, he served on the faculty at the University of Georgia, where he was a tenured Associate Professor and member of the Graduate Faculty. Prior to his appointment at UGA in 1991, Dr. Culvahouse taught in the public schools in South Carolina and Tennessee for 17 years, where he directed high school, middle school, and elementary school bands. He received the Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Tennessee and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of South Carolina. Mentors and major professors include Stanley Barnes, WJ Julian, William J. Moody, and James Copenhaver.
Dr. Culvahouse has served as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician in several states, Canada, and Western Europe. Professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association (past Georgia State Chair), Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (former Epsilon Lambda Chapter Advisor), Phi Beta Mu (Tennessee Chapter Past-President and South Carolina Past-Vice-President), Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi (Honorary), and National Band Association where he served on the Board of Directors on four occasions. As a long time NBA member, he conducted bands at the 1980, 1988, and 1994 conventions, including a 1988 performance by the Sumter, SC High School Symphonic Band. His NBA service began as Tennessee State Chair in the late 1970's, continued as an elected High School Representative, elected Representative At-Large, and Southern Division Chair. He served as President from 2009-2012. In 2014, he was elected to the membership of the American Bandmasters Association.
Dr. Culvahouse was appointed Associate Conductor of Tara Winds Community Band in the fall of 2011. He serves on the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. He is a Sudler Flag of Honor and Sudler Trophy Laureate. He was presented the coveted Orpheus Award by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in 2006 and the National Band Association has presented him the Citation of Excellence on six occasions.
Martha Lynn Volman*
E Gayle Eaker
*Denotes Principal Performers